My Short, Ugly Life as a Bookie

I have a gambling problem. It's not that I'm addicted to wagering, it's just that I'm not very good at it. I have lost bets this year on Robert Downey Jr.'s ability to stay out of trouble, on my certainty that a turkey-hand drawing Emeril Lagasse made for me would not contain "Bam!," on the actual lyrics to Christopher Cross's Arthur's Theme--and a sizable one on the presidential race that the Supreme Court totally screwed me on.

Gambling was instilled in me as an eight-year-old, when my grandmother would take weeks' worth of my allowance during post-Thanksgiving poker games and Mom...

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